There’s been many bands using the name SACRILEGE throughout the years, but only one of them managed to blew me away completely… and that was the highly intense Thrash machine from the UK! I gotta confess though that it took me a while to get used to their unique mixture of SLAYER-esque Metal, Punk/Crust and aggressive female vocals, but after having listened to zillions of bands ever since, that all pretty much sounded alike and just bored the shit out of me, I knew to appreciate the rawness of "Behind The Realms Of Madness", "Within The Prophecy" and their recently released fantastic demo collection "Reaping The Demo(n)s" even more! So, it was definitely overdue to get an in-depth history lesson from drummer Andy Baker and bass player Tony May… Read on and enjoy!
Hey Andy, hey Tony – hope you’re doing fine and you’re in a good mood to go back in time with us to relive the history of SACRILEGE a little bit more in-depth… I suppose we’ll have to start with a rather shortlived band named WARWOUND: Damian Thompson (guitar) and you Andy (drums) already released two demos as WARWOUND back in 1983 and 1984 respectively… and from what I’ve read the band was musically more in the Crust / Punk direction… is that true?
Andy: "Yes that is true, the band was heavily influenced by Discharge and all of the songs of Warwound were written on the same short sharp blasts of Discharge type songs."
Tony: "Okay, I actually never heard of the band WARWOUND, until I joined THE VARUKERS in 1984 and met Damian and Andy (ex – WARWOUND members). Yeah they sounded very much like an early DISCHARGE, I personally loved Damian’s bass playing in WARWOUND."
Who else was in the WARWOUND line-up and has that band achieved anything else apart from recording those two demos? How long did the band stay together?
Andy: "The line-up was me on drums, Damian on bass (not guitar), Wayne Freeman on vocals and Iain Carter (Mole) on guitar. The band stayed together with this line-up until I joined The Varukers in 1983 and shortly after Damian joined the Varukers also. After this the band did not carry on and as far as I know both Wayne and Iain have never played in a band since."
Tony: "The WARWOUND line-up was: Wayne Freeman – vocals, Ian Cartright (Mole) – guitar, Damian Thompson – bass and Andy Baker – drums. I cannot recall when they formed, but I presume it was 1983ish, as far as I know, and the 2 demos are all that the band recorded. I actually saw WAROUND live in Lichfield near Birmingham in 1984, a good band live, but Damian and Andy had left by then. Sorry, but I cannot recall who replaced them in WAROUND. I think WARWOUND split-up a while later."
What was the reason that 5 out of the 8 songs from the 1983 demo also ended up on the 1984 demo again?
Andy: "The band actually recorded demos in 1982 and 1983 (pre Varukers), the 1984 demo was recorded after myself and Damian had left the Varukers. Damian had already formed Sacrilege and I was going to put together Warwound (without Damian) again as we had some interest from Riot City Records but it never came to anything so the band fizzled out, I some time later in 1984 joined Sacrilege and Warwound never did anything again."
Tony: "I have no idea as to why 5 out of the 8 songs ended up on the 84 demo, maybe due to lack of new material."
Talking of those demo songs… was the song ‘Never Again’ a DISCHARGE cover? Were DISCHARGE the main influence on WARWOUND back then?
Andy: "Yes, Discharge was really the only influence of the band but we also liked GBH, English Dogs and all of the Crass associated bands."
Tony: "No, I don’t think ‘Never Again’ was a DISCHARGE cover, I remember I asked Damian that question when I first talked to him about WARWOUND, just a coinsidence that the song titles were both the same, however WAROUND were very influenced by DISCHARGE, as were many other bands around that time. Damian was also in a band called CADAVAROUS CLAN (pre – WARWOUND), if people want to check them out."
Both demos also featured a song entitled ‘Brutal Truth’… do you know if that maybe inspired the American band to name themselves that way?
Andy: "I’m not sure, you would have to ask Kevin the singer, but I don’t think so. Brutal Truth formed many years after Warwound ended."
Tony: "I have no idea if BRUTAL TRUTH named themselves after the WAROUND song, but it could be possible."
In 1983 Damian and you Andy also joined THE VARUKERS… does that mean you played in both bands at that time or was WARWOUND already history again?
Andy: "I joined the Varukers after replying to an advert in Sounds magazine, I auditioned and they offered me the chance to join the band. The first couple of rehearsals I had with the Varukers contained the original guitarist Bruce Riddel but he was having problems travelling to Leamington Spa from where he lived so he quit the band and I got Damian into the Varukers as guitarist. Warwound was inactive at this point."
Tony: "As far as I know Damian and Andy left WARWOUND to join THE VARUKERS, so they didn’t carry on playing in both bands. WARWOUND, like I said before, replaced both Damian and Andy, but I am not not sure who replaced them, I’m afraid. Damian and Andy’s first recording for THE VARUKERS was the "Led To Slaughter" 7"."
Why did Damian leave THE VARUKERS in 1984 to form SACRILEGE? Did they have musical or personal differences?
Andy: "I was very good friends with Damian for many years befopre we joined the Varukers. We did a short European tour in 1984 which was a bit of a disaster for many reasons, by this time he was in a relationship with Lynda (Tam) who came to Europe with us on tour and I think that Damian wanted to try something new away from the Varukers and announced that he was leaving the band just after we got home from Europe along with Tony May, who was the bass player in the Varukers at this point. He never really said why and I’m sure he had many reasons for his actions."
Tony: "No musical differences, Damian left THE VARUKERS in 1984, basically after I told him I was leaving the band, after an exhausting European Tour with the MAU MAUS (great band!). We discussed it on the ferry home from Holland and decided we would form our own band. Tam was also with us on that tour, so, as she had sung for INNOCENT VICTIMS, we asked her to join us. I actually played on the following VARUKERS songs: ‘Stop The Killing’, ‘No Hope Of A Future’, ‘Bomblast’ – 23.4 84. ‘Blood Money’, ‘We Have The Right’, ‘Seek & Destroy’ – 25.7.84 which are included on the "We Need No Nuclear Force" compilation LP and lastly "Live in Holland" album 84."
So, if I did my homework right, the first SACRILEGE line-up consisted of a drummer named Liam Pickering, Lynda "Tam" Simpson on vocals and you, Tony on bass… You and Lynda had previously been together in a band called INNOCENT VICTIM… what can you tell us about that band in general and how did both end up in SACRILEGE? What kind of musical background did Liam have?
Tony: "SACRILEGE’s first line-up was: Tam – vocals, Damian – guitar, me – bass, Liam – drums in late 84. INNOCENT VICTIMS formed in 1981 after the singer of a band called FINAL ATTEMPT (formed 1980) left, so we needed a vocalist to replace him. Tam took over vocal duties, so we then changed our name to INNOCENT VICTIMS. FINAL ATTEMPT’s line-up was Mel – vocals, Smithy – guitar, me – bass and Seca – drums. INNOCENT VICTIMS was the same line-up as FINAL ATTEMPT, only with Tam on vocals. Damian knew Liam from Lichfield and asked him to join SACRILEGE on drums, sadly I cannot remember if Liam had played with any other bands previously."
Andy: "Tony May joined the Varukers in 1984 after he met Damian and Rat a gig in Birmingham, both Rat and Damian were very keen on Tony joining the band after our bass player Mark Briscoe left the band shortly after the recording of "Another Religion Another War" LP. Tony and Lynda lived together in Stourbridge and had been in a band together. Myself, Damian and Liam were all good friends and lived in the same town (Lichfield). When Damain and Tony formed Sacrilege I was still playing in the Varukers and Liam also played drums so they asked Liam to join Sacrilege on drums and he did and played on the first two demos that the band produced."
Just like Damian, both of you also used to play with THE VARUKERS at one point… when exactly was that and have you all been members of THE VARUKERS at the same time once?
Andy: "Yes we were all in the Varukers at the same time for a short few months before Damain and Tony left to form Sacrilege."
Tony: "I joined THE VARUKERS in 1984 the line-up then was: Rat – vocals, Damian – guitar, Brick – bass and Andy – drums, they had just recorded the "Another Religion, Another War" album, with Brick on bass, so as Brick had left, I had my photo took for the back cover of the album, even though I had never played on the album. My mate also called Rat from a band called INDECENT ASSAULT, drew the front cover for "Another Religion", as he is a great artist and he also drew the original SACRILEGE full length Reaper. By the way, I think it was a great record, total DISCHARGE at its best! Well that’s my opinion anyway, you may also notice some of the tracks off the "Another Religion" LP were in fact WARWOUND songs re-worked (‘No Escape’ and ‘Neglected’). ‘Stop The Killing’ and ‘No Hope Of A Future’ were also songs from FINAL ATTEMPT, which had their lyrics shortened by Rat the singer, to fit THE VARUKERS style of song writing."
In 1984 and 1985 SACRILEGE recorded two demos that featured 4 songs each… was it all brandnew material or was it songs (or parts of songs) that had already been written with any of the members’ previous bands?
Andy: "As far as I know they were all new songs musically but Tam may have used lyrics from her previous band but I’m not sure about that."
Tony: "Everything was brand new material for the SACRILEGE 84 / 85 demos, funny thing was, Damian had some great unused riffs while we were still in THE VARUKERS, but by the time we came to demo the new SACRILEGE material he had forgotten the riffs, so everything was totally new."
Was SACRILEGE already an established name in the underground at the time, due to live shows or anything?
Andy: "Not really, when the band started they played a couple of shows in Nottingham and Scunthorpe and the band’s name was getting known throughout the scene because of the demos they had recorded and Dig (later to form Earache Records) like the band and offered to put out a track from the demos on a flexi disc along with some other bands at the time."
Tony: "No, but after playing our first gig in Nottingham in 1985, then a gig in Scunthorpe, word seemed to spread through our scene and we started to generate alot of interest, especially I think, due to the second demo which sounded more metallic, we were getting alot of mail and I just couldn’t make copies of the demos fast enough. Basically if somebody sent the band a cassette tape, then I would make them a copy of our demos, the underground trading scene was thriving and a great way of hearing as many bands as possible, without spending a fortune."
Had you been aware of the fact that the name SACRILEGE was also used by other bands as well at the time? Did you ever consider changing your name bacause of that?
Andy: "Yes, we were aware of a band called Sacrilege in America but they changed thier name to Sacrilege B.C ."
Tony: "As far as we knew we were the only SACRILEGE, until someone mentioned to us about another band in the States with the same name, so to stop confusion they added B.C. to their name. Nice gesture, I thought. We actually picked the name SACRILEGE from a dictionary, as no one could come up or agree on a band name."
What can you tell us about the "We Won’t Be Your Fucking Poor" compilation and the "Anglican Scrape Attic" flexi split 7" EP (with HIRAX, EXECUTE, LIP CREAM and CONCRETE SOX)? How did the band end up on those releases, was exclusive material used for it and who released both of them?
Andy: "Dig (later to form Earache Records), who released the flexi disc, saw the band in Nottingham at one of their early shows and asked them to contribute a track, it was a track off one of the early demos recorded in the very early stages of the band."
Tony: "Dig (pre Earache Records) contacted us about a flexi disc he was putting together and asked us if we would be interested in adding a track. ‘Bloodrun’ from the 85 demo was choosen and I think the flexi was limited to 5000. The track ‘Dig Your Own Grave’ from the 84 demo was released on the "We Won’t Be Your Fucking Poor" compilation LP after Colin from CONFLICT met Tam and Damian at a gig and discussed if we would like to be included on the above LP. Of course we agreed, as we were big admirers of CRASS and CONFLICT."
Did that compilation and split EP in any way help to get the name SACRILEGE out a bit more at the time?
Andy: "Yes it did and underground trading of the bands early demos helped as well."
Tony: "Yes of course, as a new band on the scene, it certainly was another great way of being heard and comunicate will like minded people, all the hard work with the underground trading really helped us too."
Prior to the recordings of the band’s debut mini LP "Behind The Realms Of Madness" (in July 1985) Liam Pickering got replaced by you, Andy… What was the reason for this line-up change?
Andy: "The band had got to a stage where Damian’s songwriting was progressing very quickly, Damian always had a good ear for music and his songwriting was perhaps a little too far advanced for Liam’s style of drumming. Liam had not been playing drums for very long when he joined Sacrilege and therefore he was very inexperienced at playing shows and recording and I think Damian decided if the band was to move forward then replacing Liam was an option to take at the time. It was not a reflection of Liam as a person because he was a really nice guy it was a very difficult decision to make at the time for the band."
Tony: "This was one of the biggest decisions the band had to make. Liam was our drummer and a very good friend, none of us were really happy about it, at that stage we were an original line-up, but with the pressure to release a good debut album, Damian thought Andy would be better suited to the position. I would love to meet up with Liam again, but sadly we lost contact many years ago."
"Behind The Realms Of Madness" got released by Children Of The Revolution Records… How did SACRILEGE get together with them and what kind of deal did they have on offer?
Andy: "I’m not quite sure how Tim, who was COR’s owner, got involved with the band as his interest in the band was made clear before I was asked to join. I met Tim for the first time at one of the first gigs I played with the band in Wood Green in London. The deal was a one off mini LP of which the band paid for the recording costs and COR would release the mini LP and licence it in the USA also."
Tony: "COR Records formed in 1984 and the deal with Tim Bennett from Children Of The Revolution Records was a one album deal. Remember CHAOS UK (Gurt 1) and ONSLAUGHT (Gurt 2) were early releases on the label, so we scraped together enough money to record the mini album and it was licenced to the States by Pushead, who also did a great job of promoting the band over there. Our release was Gurt 4, released in 1985, so the label was still in its early stages, but it went on to release 27 other bands."
From what I’ve read "Behind The Realms Of Madness" sold approximately 7.000 copies, which isn’t bad at all, considering how underground SACRILEGE still was at the time… So was Children Of The Revolution Records already a quite experienced company?
Andy: "COR was a very small label but Tim, the label owner, had some good bands signed up for releases and the label became quite popular with the Punk / Metal crossover type bands."
Tony: "Yes, it was a respectable start for us and Tims. COR Records did a fine job for a newish label at that time. I also remember NAPALM DEATH saying they would also record in the same studio, Rich Bitch Studios, due the the great sound on our debut album "Behind The Realms Of Madness" they of course recorded the "Scum" LP there."
Shortly after the release of "Behind The Realms Of Madness" Mitch Dickinson (ex-WARHAMMER) joined SACRILEGE on second guitar, but you never played any shows with him, nor did he participate in any recordings… So, what was the problem with him? How long was he part of the band and did you replace him with someone else?
Andy: "There was no problem with Mitch, he joined the band, rehearsed several times, didn’t play any live shows, but to be honest we didn’t play that many shows anyway, it was just that Mitch was in the band at a time when we were not playing shows but writing new songs for the next LP. I also think that Mitch didn’t feel comfortable with being in Sacrilege at all for various reasons and decided to leave to persue other bands that he was involved with at the time."
Tony: "We really wanted to get a second guitarist in to boost the live sound of the band. Mitch seemed very keen at first, but was worried he wouldn’t be allowed to contribute to the song writing etc, which was fine by us all. We have a few practices, then the next thing we knew Mitch had joined HERESY saying he was a big fan of the Hardcore scene and felt more suited to that style of music. So after all that hard work we decided to just carry on as we were."
What can you tell us about the interest of FM Revolver Records… how serious was it and why did it go nowhere in the end?
Andy: "We signed I think a two album deal with FM Revolver Records, but the owner of the label was a born again christian and found out we had signed and didn’t want us on his label so they agreed to free us from the contract and we left the label without ever recording anything for them. Quite mutual really and I think the right move for the band as it was the wrong type of label for us."
Tony: "Well, the owner of FM Revolver Records came to see us live at the Mermaid in Brum around 86 and liked what he saw, so we were offered a deal. Other bands on the label at that time were MAGNUM and WRATHCHILD. By the way, he was a Born Again Christian and told us he wanted us to be the next WARLOCK. Nothing against WARLOCK who I liked, but we had our own minds and would certainly not be dictated to and try to be moulded into a new version of WARLOCK. We never got to the studio and mutually agreed to terminate our contract."
In January and August of 1986 you recorded two more demos… does that mean the deal with Children Of The Revolution Records was finished already after "Behind The Realms Of Madness" and you had to shop around new material for a follow-up release?
Andy: "The deal with COR was only ever for one LP, we used to rehearse and record demos at Rich Bitch Studios in Birmingham and were quite friendly with the owners of the studio Rob and Linda Bruce who had expressed their concern about us signing to FM Revolver Records and offered once we were released for the FM contract to record the next LP ("Within The Prophecy") and they would shop around for a record label to release it, so we took them up on their very kind offer and recorded "Within The Prophecy" at Rich Bitch Studios."
Tony: "Yeah the deal with COR was at an end, we did need a new label but in the mean time, we started recording the new material ready for our next album, which would turn out to be "Within The Prophecy"."
In January 1987 you finally recorded your debut full lenth "Within The Prophecy" at Birmingham’s Rich Bitch Studios with Rob Bruce and producer Mike Ivory… were you still unsigned at the time you entered the studio or had Under One Flag (who released the album) already picked you up?
Andy: "I’ve probably answered this question above but after we had recorded the album Rob Bruce had made contact with Music For Nations and set up a meeting with the label owner, we all travelled down to London and a deal was struck for the album to be released on the Under One Flag label with a further album deal as well."
Tony: "Yes, we were still unsigned after terminating the FM Records deal and as we had always used Rich Bitch Studios, we had a good relationship with Rob Bruce, the owner, who offered us free studio time to do the "Prophecy" album, then he took the recording with us down to London to try and get us a deal with Under One Flag, the sister label of Music For Nations, that turned out to be a great success thanks to Rob."
The album consists of re-recorded demo material exclusively… Was it all fan favorites or what was the reason that you didn’t include any new material at all on the record?
Andy: "All of the tracks that had been demo versions were written for the album, we used to write songs and record them quite quickly to see how they sounded, we also had played a few live shows and the fans liked the new material so for us it was always going to be the songs from the demos on the LP."
Tony: "We tried to demo all new material and add bits here and there if needed, it was always to improve on a track if we could. Plus live the demos material was going down very well."
Would you agree that SLAYER’s "Hell Awaits" had a big impact on you while you wrote those songs? Which bands would you name as your main influences in general back then? Did Lynda have any influences as a vocalist in particular?
Andy: "Slayer was a very big influence on the band and also Metallica and Exodus when you bear in mind myself, Damian, Tony and Lynda had come from a background musically of Punk listening for years to the likes of Discharge to all of the Crass related bands and suddenly there were all these Metal bands playing fast 100mph songs all of them wearing Discharge and GBH t-shirts appearing on the scene, so yes a big influence on the band. At this point in the band’s history Damian and Tony had started to listen a lot to Trouble, who also influenced Damian’s song writing in a big way."
Tony: "Yes, SLAYER, VENOM, METALLICA etc were all a big influences on the band musically, but we still listened to our Punk roots as well, but when we heard CANDLEMASS and TROUBLE their music was a great inspiration, as Damian was getting slightly tired of the Thrash scene by then, so the intention with the band was always to slow down and get as heavy as possible, even though we have always mixed up the tempo of our songs with faster and slower paced material. Tam at that time still loved her Punk Music and I think the biggest band that inspired her was still CRASS."
During the recordings of "Within The Prophecy" you, Tony, left the band… would you mind telling us what exactly happened at the time?
Tony: "Yes, I recorded around 5 tracks for the "Prophecy" album, but I’m still not sure if they were used on the final mix, you would have to ask Damian that question. I never really liked the studio enviroment and always felt quite uncomfortable in there, so leaving the band seemed the right thing to do, at that point in time."
Andy: "Tony didn’t like the pressure a recording studio put you under and felt that he wasn’t at his best and left the band for a short period, so Damian played bass on the "Within The Prophecy" album although Tony was credited on the cover he never actually recorded anything on the album."
It seems the band was in constant turmoil from now on anyway: you, Tony, were replaced by Paul Morrisey, a second guitarist named Frank Healey was recruited and later on you, Andy, also got replaced with Paul Brookes, who shortly after got replaced again by Spikey T. Smith… But Paul Morrisey also didn’t seem to stay very long in the band since Frank Healey switched to bass after Paul Morrisey left… Do you know more about all these line-up changes and what had caused them?
Andy: "I think the line-up changes were due to Lynda and Damian’s egos getting larger and larger at the time, they wanted the band to exist but did not want to play any shows for some strange reason. We were offered the chance to play with Nuclear AssauLt at Hammersmith Odeon but they would not do it and I had several differences of opinion at the time and I think Damian and Lynda did not like this and kicked me out of the band. The other guys would tell you the same as they suffered the same fate as me. At this point they (Lynda and Damian) had their heads turned by money and after "Within The Prophecy" was recorded I got a phone call from Lynda saying that as she and Damian wrote all of the songs they wanted all of the publishing money, so after all the years of claiming to be anarcho Punks where money and profits didn’t matter they suddenly wanted everthing for themselves, quite a turnaround really."
Tony: "I think the band was basically searching for the right members to gel and fit in. Frank had joined us just as I decided to leave the band and Andy was next to go, so I think the "Trilobite" album was recorded before Paul joined. Paul Morrisey took over from me on bass and Frank Healy went on rhythm guitar which in turn left Damian more relaxed to concentrate on his guitar solos etc. I roadied for the band for a while and drove the van to gigs for them. supporting CANDLEMASS was the highlight of the band I think and they also played with GIRLSCHOOL in London before splitting up. I played 14 of the 20 gigs that SACRILEGE played, so after I left SACRILEGE, they only carried on for another 6 gigs, then the band folded or should I say, just seemed to disolve away slowly."
The final chapter in SACRILEGE’s history was the second full-length album "Turn Back Trilobite", which got released in April 1989 on Under One Flag / Music For Nations again… Musically it was a big step into a totally different direction… I personally didn’t like that record at all and it seems that a lot of the old fans of the band saw things similar as SACRILEGE split up shortly after… Even though you weren’t a member of the band anymore in those days, I’d still like to hear your comments / thoughts on this period…
Andy: "When I was still in the band I was involved in writing some of the new songs for the "Turn Back Trilobite" album before I left the band, Damain’s songwriting was at a very good point in his career, the quality of the songs was excellent but the recording was weak and production was nothing short of a disaster, from my point of view I was thrilled that it was such a mess and as the band folded not long after again I was totally happy that the band fell apart without me. Justice I thought!"
Tony: "I personally liked the "Trilobite" album, like I said before, the band always intended to go that way, slower and heavier, maybe in hindsight it was too soon and drastic for the SACRILEGE followers of the earlier material to handle it. I would say, it could be compared to what happened with the DISCHARGE’s "Grave New World" album, (which I liked musically), it also didn’t go down too well with the older followers either. Damian always said it would have been very easy to churn out the same old material, but the way he was going as a musician, he needed the challenge to do something different."
After the band’s split-up Frank Healey and you, Andy, played with CEREBRAL FIX, BENEDICTION and CATHEDRAL, while Paul Brookes was seen in BENEDICTION and MARSHALL LAW… but what actually happened to Damian, Lynda and you, Tony? Been involved in any bands ever since?
Andy: "As far as I know they have never done anything band wise since which is a great pity really as Damian is a really talented guitarist, such a waste really, his choice though at the end of the day."
Tony: "I almost joined BOLT THROWER when I left SACRILEGE in 1987, but decided to just chill out and went to gigs. I did drive NAPALM DEATH around Europe in 87 when Lee from CATHEDRAL was singing for them. After "Trilobite", Tam and Damian did make two more demos around 1990, the first being quite bluesy and rocky, while the next demo went quite folksy and depressing with acoustic guitar. Damian eventually gave up guitar, which I think was a cryin’ shame with the talent he had. I would still like to make another demo before I pop my clogs, but time will tell I suppose, because I haven’t touched a bass in 24 years, haha…"
Recently two SACRILEGE demo compilation CDs got released ("Reaping The Demo(n)s" and "Time To Face The Reaper")… What can you tell us about them and why did you agree to release two of them almost at the same time?
Andy: "I started selling the "Within The Prophecy" demos on CD-R on ebay for quite some time when I got a message from Tony (who I had not spoken to for over 20 years) demanding that I send him some copies of the CD-Rs for free, so I ignored him at first as I wanted no contact with him. After a couple of abusive emails from him I blocked him from sending me more messages and I thought that was that. Some months later Dave Rotten from Xtreem Music in Spain asked if I would be interested in having the demos released professionally and we agreed for Dave to do this, in the meantime Tony had managed to obtain a copy of the CD-R I was selling and started selling them himself on ebay. He then got a label in Portugal to release Behind The Realms LP on vinyl which they totally messed up by pressing it with a track from another band, Tony did not and has not got permission to do this so as far as I’m concerned it’s a bootleg as is the "Within The Prophecy" CD a South American label released and also the "Time To Face The Reaper" demos bootleg which again Tony was involved with – all bootlegs."
Tony: "Firstly I never agreed for two demo CDs to be released. The "Time To Face The Reaper" demo CD was released in 2009 by Absurd Records to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band, then I heard Dave Rotten at Xtreem Music was also going to release another demo CD in 2010 which I objected too ,so I asked Dave Rotten and Andy Baker not to release yet another demo CD, but I was totally ignored. We certainly didn’t give Andy or Dave permission to release the first 2 SACRILEGE demos 84 / 85 on CD. Remember Andy wasn’t even in the band back then, we had Liam Pickering on drums. As for Andy calling all the re-releases I have okayed bootlegs, well he is entitled to his opinion, but alot of people put in alot of hard work to release the demo CD "Time To Face The Reaper" on Absurd Records, "Realms…" vinyl on Blood & Iron Records and "Prophecy…" CD remastered on Keltic Records. People will only buy what they choose, so the choice is there for them, these releases were only agreed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of SACRILEGE rightly or wrongly? As for the matter of contacting Andy on ebay about him selling the "Prophecy" CD-Rs, yes I did contact him and asked if it would be possible for my son to have a free copy for his music collection. Well I was ignored, so I emailed again and said I suppose the answer is no then? There were no abusive emails. After that, I thought if Andy can sell our music on ebay without asking any other band member permission, then so can I."
"Reaping The Demo(n)s" also has an additional SACRILEGE live show from May 1986 on offer, which sounds really impressive to me… Has SACRILEGE been an active live act back in those days? With which other bands did you share the stage and what kind of responses did you get from the crowds?
Andy: "We did not play many shows but when we did they were all quite special, we played a few shows around the country with Amebix and Antisect and we used to get a real positive from the people attending the shows something that never really happened when we used to gig alot with the Varukers."
Tony: "Well after only playing 20 gigs in our whole career, the band had some great times and were lucky enough to play with bands like ANTISECT, DIRT, early NAPALM DEATH, THE SEARS, CONCRETE SOX, CANDLEMASS, GIRLSCHOOL and went down well most of the time. Live in Leeds is also on the "Behind The Realms Of Madness" CD on Metalcore, which is getting quite rare to find these days. SACRILEGE is also spelt wrong on the CD, one for the collectors out there."
The "Reaping The Demo(n)s" release also features a a dub mix of ‘A Violation Of Something Sacred’… what was that all about?
Andy: "That mix was done by me and Damian during the recording of "Behind The Realms Of Madness" just for fun really, kind of on the lines of ‘The More I See’ dub mix by Discharge, so nothing serious we just ran the tapes once and faded things in and out in one take."
Tony: "This was mixed when there was some free time during the recording of the "Behind The Realms Of Madness" album in 1985. Damian and Andy were messing around and called it a Dub Mix, we also agreed this would never be released, as it was a total mess about."
"Within The Prophecy" was also already re-released through Keltic Records in 2009 with some additional demo / live songs while "Behind The Realms Of Madness" got included in the Candlelight Records re-release of "Within The Prophecy", so I suppose the interest in SACRILEGE is getting stronger and stronger these days… How do you feel about all this? Have you ever considered to do a SACRILEGE reunion and / or to play selected reunion shows based on the regained interest maybe?
Andy: "The Keltic Records release is an unofficial bootleg they only have Tony May’s (who didn’t even play on it) permission to release the CD, I have not heard this copy but I guess as is the Candlelight one taken from a vinyl copy (you can hear the scratches) a rip off really. As far as a reunion is concerned I don’t think it would ever happen, but you never know, its been a long time since the band split up and people change over the years, I still play the drums and worked as a drum tech for various bands in the late 80s up until the mid 90s and still keep in touch with most of the people I worked for."
Tony: "Yet again this is Andys opinion. The "Prophecy" remastered CD with bonus tracks on Keltic Records is not a bootleg and is limited to 500 worldwide. As for a reformation of the band, if Tam and Damian asked me I’d love to do it, maybe just a few one off gigs for old times sake, sadly this seems very unlikely."
Ok guys, I guess we covered almost everything by now… if we should’ve missed out something important, you’re welcome to add it now… thanks for taking the time to do this interview, the last words are yours! All the best!
Andy: "Dave Rotten has made a fabulous job of releasing "Reaping The Demo(n)s" CD, a must buy for Sacrilege lovers old and new, get it whilst its still available and thanks for the interview Frank. Cheers Andy B."
Tony: "Danke / Thanks to Frank at Voices From The Darkside, sorry for the delay, but we made it in the end. Greetings to all SACRILEGE Followers old and new and a special thanx to Marcelo at Absurd Records, Murilo Artwork on the demo CD "Time To Face The Reaper" (get well soon), F.J at Blood & Iron Records, Aldo at Keltic Records… all your hard work is much appreciated. PROST / CHEERS!"
Interview: Frank Stöver
First live pic of Tony May: Paul May